Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to the human body, in particular the digestive system, and a good chunk of them thrive naturally in your gut. Probiotics found in foods can allow more good microorganisms to enter your system and keep your gut well-balanced and smooth, replenishing the live cultures already there.

While it’s not necessary to eat probiotic-filled foods to keep your gut bacteria in line, there’s no doubt that it can certainly help them do their job better. According to the Cleveland Clinic, eating probiotics in food helps lower the number of bad, inflammatory bacteria in your digestive system and thus prevent illness; it also assists in stabilizing the balance between good and bad bacteria especially after you’ve taken antibiotics and have cleared out most good bacteria. Some research has even found that probiotics might improve mental health and fight depression.

You can always take probiotic supplements — but since they don’t have to be approved by the FDA, some of their claims may not be entirely true. We’d recommend picking out the best foods with probiotics instead. Here’s how to find them and prepare them.